He is the most famous and richest footballer (soccer player) in the world. Off the soccer pitch there is no other soccer player who can compete with Beckham for endorsements, media attention and fanatical fans. But how does Becks stand up on the pitch to best soccer players in today’s game? Is Beckham’s success due to marketing hype or does he actually have some game?
Beckham was a product of the Manchester United youth system. He first came to the football public’s attention with a goal for Man Utd from the half way line in 1997.
Beckham got world wide attention in the 1998 world cup 1998 when he was sent off in the quarter final between Argentina and England for kicking Diego Simeone. Beckham was vilified on his return to England and was a target for angry fans at every Man Utd away game in 1999
I think it took until the free kick against Greece in 2006 before English fans finally forgive Beckham. That goal against Greece in the last minute that send England to the Word Cup was as clutch a soccer play as you will ever see. That goal has to go down as one of the best free kicks of all-time because of the time and place that it occurred.
Beckham is known as a dead ball specialist, but I think that is a too simple view of his game. In his prime, Beckham was a player who could cover ever blade of grass on a pitch and there are few players who could cross a ball better or hit a pass that would split a defense wide open than Beckham.
Beckham has never had skill of a Zidane or Figo to ghost past 3 defenders and create something out of nothing. And this is what keeps Beckham from being in the same group as Zidane, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. A true soccer superstar has the ability to conjure up some magic on the soccer pitch from open play. That is why we value the skills of Pele, Best, and Maradonna so much. They all had that ability to make a goal out of nothing. That is not Beckham’s game. He is a better player than most people give him credit for, but he is not a great player. Whether that makes him over-hyped or under-appreciated is up to you. My vote is on under-appreciated. What is yours?
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